The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave Mansion House in London after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave Mansion House in London after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards

Harry and Meghan’s charity did not breach the law, commission finds

The conclusion was reached after an almost 12-month review

Saman Javed
Tuesday 25 May 2021 16:20
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s charitable foundation did not breach charity law, an investigation by the Charity Commission has found.

The findings come almost a year after Republic, a group that campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy, reported the foundation in July 2020.

Republic took issue after the Sussex Royal foundation, which later changed its name to the MWX Foundation, received money from Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Foundation.

The group alleged that the two grants of £145,000 and £151,855 were improper and unlawful. 

The commission’s findings, published on Tuesday, said both foundations “complied with their duties under charity law, and the transfers of funds between different organisations were in keeping with the charities’ governing documents, with conflicts of interest being appropriately managed”.

A spokesperson for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed the commission’s decision, saying it “confirmed what we knew from the start: that MWX Foundation complied fully with UK charity law in its handling and transferring of funds and grants”. 

“Today’s update provides complete closure to this review and ultimately underscores both the legitimacy of the former charity and the baselessness of the claims against it,” the statement said.

Following the publication of the results, Republic has issued an apology admitting accountability for falsely claiming that the transfer of funds was “improper and likely to be unlawful”.

“We wrote to the Charity Commission expressing the same points and then widely publicised our letter to the UK media without knowing whether what we claimed was true. 

“We did not contact The Royal Foundation and/or Sussex Royal before going to the Charity Commission and to the media, which would have been the appropriate action. If we had contacted the organisations directly, we accept we would have realised quickly that there was nothing improper in their operations,” the group’s statement said.

Republic said it apologises unreservedly to the charities and Prince Harry for its actions and “the public damage that has been caused as a result of widely publicised untrue claims”.

Helen Earner, director of regulatory services at the Charity Commission said that while both foundations complied with their duties under charity law, “the public expects charities to make a real positive difference for the people they help”.

“Trustees cannot predict future events when establishing a new charity – circumstances can change after a charity has been set up. But all trustees, before setting up a charity, should think about the longer term, and consider carefully whether a new charity is the best way of achieving the intended aims,” she added.

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